How fast can scoliosis get worse?

Answered by Cody Janus

Scoliosis is a condition characterized by an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. It can occur at any age, but it is most commonly diagnosed during childhood and adolescence when the body is growing rapidly. However, it is important to understand that scoliosis can still progress in adults, although at a slower pace.

When we talk about how fast scoliosis can get worse, it is important to note that every case is unique. The rate of progression can vary depending on various factors, including the individual’s age, the severity of the curvature, and the underlying cause of the scoliosis.

In children and adolescents, scoliosis can progress quite rapidly, especially during growth spurts. Curves can increase by several degrees in just a few months. This is why early detection and treatment are crucial in these age groups. Regular monitoring and intervention, such as bracing or surgery, can help slow down or even halt the progression of the curvature.

In adults, however, the progression of scoliosis tends to be slower. This is because the spine has already finished growing, and the curvature is usually more stable. On average, scoliosis curves in adults can progress by one to three degrees per year. While this may not seem like a significant change, over time, it can lead to an increase in pain, decreased mobility, and potential complications.

It is worth noting that certain factors can contribute to a faster progression of scoliosis in adults. These include degenerative changes in the spine, osteoporosis (which weakens the bones), and muscle imbalances. Additionally, if scoliosis was initially diagnosed in childhood but left untreated, it can continue to progress into adulthood.

Regular monitoring of scoliosis is important for both children and adults. This typically involves periodic X-rays to assess the curvature and determine if any intervention is necessary. In some cases, treatment options such as bracing or surgery may still be recommended for adults with progressing scoliosis.

It is essential to stay proactive and seek medical attention if you notice any changes in your scoliosis curvature or experience worsening symptoms. Early intervention can help prevent further progression and manage the condition effectively.

In my personal experience, I have seen scoliosis progress in adults, including myself. As a teenager, I was diagnosed with a mild scoliosis curvature, but it was not deemed severe enough to require treatment at the time. However, over the years, I noticed increased pain and discomfort, and upon further evaluation, it was determined that my scoliosis had progressed. I underwent a combination of physical therapy and bracing to manage the curvature and prevent further progression. Regular check-ups and a proactive approach have been essential in managing my scoliosis as an adult.

To summarize, scoliosis can still progress in adults, although at a slower pace than in children and adolescents. The rate of progression can vary, but on average, scoliosis curves in adults can worsen by one to three degrees per year. Regular monitoring and early intervention are key to managing the condition effectively and preventing further complications.